October 2015 African Business News


Jerome Booth, Co-Founder of Ashmore Group and Chairman of New Sparta Asset Management. Credit: institutionalinvestor.com

Ashmore Group's Co-Founder Jerome Booth looks to raise up to $500M to invest in African energy

The former Ashmore Group research head is launching an emerging markets investment firm that will start by focusing on African energy projects.

Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria

Nigeria's Senate confirms President Buhari's ministerial picks

Nigeria’s Senate approved the final list of 18 cabinet nominees submitted by President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, bringing to 36 the total number considered fit to be ministers.

Ethiopia has the potential to generate 45,000 megawatts of hydropower

Blackstone's Black Rhino looks at renewable power investments in Ethiopia

Black Rhino, owned by funds of U.S. investment company Blackstone Group, said on Wednesday it was looking at investments in Ethiopia’s power generation sector.

John Magufuli, Tanzania's President-Elect

Tanzania's ruling party candidate John Magufuli wins Tanzania Presidency with gas to tax reform vow

Tanzania’s ruling party candidate, John Magufuli, won a presidential election in Africa’s third-biggest gold producer with pledges to hasten development of the country’s nascent natural-gas industry and reforms to boost tax revenue.

Here are 17 facts about Africa you might not know

Here are 17 facts about Africa you might not know

Here are some key facts and figures, courtesy of the Indo Asian News Service (IANS), about a continent that is not only one of the fastest growing regions of the world but one that is economically, culturally and linguistically diverse.

L-R: Charles Ifedi, CEO, Verve; Mitchell Elegbe, Founder & MD, Interswitch; Akeem Lawal, Director, Interswitch. Credit: financialtechnologyafrica.com

Nigeria's Interswitch launches Verve payments service in Kenya

The Nigerian company Interswitch is to launch its Verve payments cards in Kenya, a move that should cut banks’ costs and threaten the dominant positions of Visa, MasterCard and the M-pesa mobile money service.

Africa's other "Big 6": Ethiopian Airlines, South African Airways, Arik Air, EgyptAir, Kenya Airways and Royal Air Maroc

Africa's other "Big 6": Jude Uzonwanne, Associate Partner, Dalberg Global Development Advisors

Africa’s vast skies are being mastered by the “Big 6”: Ethiopian Airlines, South African Airways, Arik Air, EgyptAir, Kenya Airways and Royal Air Maroc.

A man speaks on a mobile phone as he walks past a MTN shop at a shopping mall south of Johannesburg. Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

South Africa's MTN seeks to reduce $5.2B Nigeria fine

Africa’s biggest mobile phone operator, MTN Group, is in talks with Nigerian regulators to try to reduce a $5.2 billion fine, two sources familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

Mo Abudu, Founder & CEO, EbonyLife TV

Mo Abudu's movie "Fifty" debuts at the BFI London Film Festival: Watch BBC interview (Video)

I’ve been following her various media moves since I first learned about her a couple of years ago, and have been updating you folks as new developments happen.

Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, the new Ooni of Ife, will be one of the youngest traditional rulers in Nigeria

New Yoruba king named in Nigeria: 40-year old Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi named Ooni of Ife

A 40-year-old accountant has been named the new Ooni of Ife – a revered monarch in south-west Nigeria.

Nigeria telecom giant MTN fined a record $5.2B

Nigeria telecom giant MTN fined a record $5.2B

Telecom giant MTN Nigeria has been fined a record $5.2bn by Nigeria’s Communications Commission (NCC).

Nancy Kacungira, New Anchor, KTN

Why I cannot tell 'the African story': Nancy Kacungira, News Anchor, KTN (Infographic)

Ugandan TV journalist Nancy Kacungira has won the first BBC World News Komla Dumor Award for Africa-based journalists.

Abidjan, Ivory Coast

Concrete strides: Sub-Saharan Africa's infrastructure potential

For this West African city of more than 4.7 million people, the bridge to a better economy starts with an actual bridge.

Here are nine tech companies building Nigeria's future

Here are nine tech companies building Nigeria's future

Over the course of the last 5 years, Nigeria has seen the rise of many tech companies working to address Nigerian problems with unique solutions. Although a number have failed in this quest, a good number have diversified or pivoted their solutions to sustain business.

Here are five promising mobile payment startups built and operating in Africa

Here are five promising mobile payment startups built and operating in Africa

Financial technology – FinTech – holds great potential for the future of African economies.

Jumia workers examine products for delivery in Lagos, Nigeria. AFP Photo/Pius Utomi Ekpei

Nigeria's developing e-pay economy

Nigeria has historically set the example for other African nations in terms of mobile adoption, internet infrastructure proliferation, and e-commerce.

Aliko Dangote, pictured with his daughter, Halima, at the TIME 100 Gala in New York. Credit: dailymail.co.uk

Aliko Dangote: 5 Things You Can Learn From Africa's Richest Man

A look into one of the wealthiest men on the planet, and what we can learn from his story.

Adiba Ighodaro, Partner, Investor Development, Actis. Credit: privcap.com

US pension funds embrace private equity in Africa

That Missouri’s 111,000 retired state workers receive some of their pensions thanks to Africa consumers may seem unlikely.

A cameraman films a scene for the Nollywood movie October 1, a police thriller directed by Kunle Afolayan, at a rural location in Ilaramokin village, southwest Nigeria. Reuters/Akintunde Akinleye

From Nollywood to New Nollywood: The runaway success of Nigeria's booming movie industry

The video-film industry of Nigeria has been described as one of the greatest explosions of popular culture that Africa has ever seen.

US President Barack Obama (L) and M-KOPA Solar representative. M-KOPA, headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, is the global leader of “pay-as-you-go” energy for off-grid customers.

The African tech startup scene has been transformed in just four years

Last month DEMO Africa took place in Lagos, Nigeria, with 30 tech startups pitching to an audience of investors.

Government funding is just one avenue for African tech. Credit: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg; Eduard Gismatullin/Bloomberg. institutionalinvestor.com

Government funding is just one avenue for African tech

Hoping to reap the economic benefits of a digital revolution, several African countries are seeking to build their own versions of Silicon Valley.

Printivo founders Ibukun Oloyede, Oluyomi Ojo, and Ayodeji Adeogun. Credit: techcrunch.com

Nigeria-based Printivo wants to become the Vistaprint of Africa

Vistaprint has been around for 20 years, so if you live in the U.S. or Europe, ordering printed material online might not seem like a big deal.

Renewable energy could supply nearly a quarter of Africa's power needs by 2030

Renewable energy could supply nearly a quarter of Africa's power needs by 2030

Renewable energy sources could supply nearly a quarter of Africa’s power needs by 2030, more than four times the current levels, according to a report published by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

African Markets Guide 2015: Barclays

African Markets Guide 2015: Barclays (Report)

African credit markets have continued to grow at a rapid pace, while rising debt and falling commodity prices have put pressure on fundamentals. The recent high correlation of African spreads to global EM credit markets has challenged the thesis that Africa offers diversification, but the meaningful intra-regional dispersion offers opportunities, in our view.

D'banj poses at his home in Lagos. Photographer: Paul Odijie/Bloomberg

Nigeria's booming music scene: An interview with D'banj (Video)

The mansion, the pool, the Bentley, the life-size portrait and the gold medallions are the spoils of a revolution in Nigeria and music superstar D’banj is enjoying them.

Two Rivers, Nairobi, Kenya: The development is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Centum.

Centum Investment Company - Building Value in Kenya: Ryan Hoover, Investment Analyst, Africa Capital Group

It’s gut check time for Kenya investors. The Nairobi Securities Exchange’s main index has lost 31.7% in U.S. dollar terms since the start of the year in response to security concerns, China’s slowing growth, and a brief experiment with a 5% capital gains tax.

Jason Njoku. Founder & CEO, iROKOtv

iROKOtv - The Netflix of Africa: Ashish Thakkar, Founder, Mara Group

Behind a high-security gate on a side road off the frenetic Apapa Oworonshoki Expressway, in the Anthony Village district of mainland Lagos, stands a nondescript three-story concrete building.

Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, Director-General, Nigeria's Pension Commission. Credit: theafricareport.com

Pension funds: Leading a quiet Nigerian revolution

For someone who oversees billions of dollars in pension funds and pilots sweeping reforms in Africa’s biggest economy, Chinelo Anohu-Amazu did not shout her credentials from the roof tops when she visited The Africa Report’s office in Paris.

Macky Sall, President of Senegal

Senegal Plans New City to Ease Gridlock, Woo China Investors

On a plain dotted with rotund baobab tree trunks Senegal is planning its future. The government of the West African nation is laying the groundwork for a new city …

Jaime Dimon, Chairman, President & CEO, JP Morgan Chase

JPMorgan plans Africa expansion even as Ghana and Kenya regulators refuse entry

Jamie Dimon, chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co., which has offices in South Africa and Nigeria, said the bank wants a presence in more African countries to spur growth, even after regulators in Ghana and Kenya refused the lender entry.

Bob Diamond, CEO of Atlas Mara and former CEO of Barclays

Bob Diamond's Atlas Mara eyes three more Africa acquisitions in 2015

Atlas Mara Ltd., the banking group that’s acquiring African lenders, is seeking to buy as many as three more businesses in 2015, co-founder Robert Diamond said.

A view of the Yaba district in Lagos, home to Nigeria's dominant start-up scene (Reuters/Akintunde Akinleye)

Why Nigeria's newest startups are sprouting up outside the megacity of Lagos

Even though Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy, Lagos, its commercial capital, still has a disproportionately strong hold over all business sectors.

Kenya's Lake Turkana Wind Power Project

Google to Buy Into Africa's Largest Wind Farm in Northern Kenya

Google Inc. will acquire a stake in Africa’s largest wind farm once the facility is completed in Kenya in 2017.

A Java House location

Kenyan coffee chain Java House plans to open outlets across Africa

Kenya’s Java House has 36 coffee houses and restaurants and plans to open outlets across Africa in the next five years to capitalise on rising consumer spending, its chief executive said.

Choppies Plans Sub-Saharan Africa Expansion in Market Share Push

Choppies Plans Sub-Saharan Africa Expansion in Market Share Push

Choppies Enterprises Ltd., the Botswanan supermarket chain that listed in South Africa in May, plans to open about 30 stores in the year through June and may also expand via acquisitions as the retailer seeks to increase market share in the region.

Danie Meintjes, CEO, Mediclinic

South Africa's Mediclinic to buy UAE's Al Noor Hospitals for $2.2B

South Africa’s Mediclinic Intl has agreed to buy United Arab Emirates’ Al Noor Hospitals Group for around 1.4 billion pounds ($2.2 billion), gaining the upper hand on rival NMC Health in a tussle for expansion in the fast growing Gulf region.

Alassane Ouattara, President of Ivory Coast

President Alassane Ouattara sees transformative potential in Ivory Coast's economic comeback

President Alassane Ouattara sees transformative potential in Ivory Coast’s economic comeback — not just for his country, but also for the largely untapped and underserved west African market of more than 300m.

Africa Exchange Guide 2015 - African Alliance

Africa Exchange Guide 2015: African Alliance Capital Markets (Presentation)

Here is general information on exchanges across Africa, including: currencies, time zones, trading hours, open days, market operation, settlement, trading lot sizes, public holidays, monetary policy, taxation & indices. The guide was compiled by African Alliance.

Building in Banana Island, Lagos, Nigeria

Nigeria's Lagos among top five best cities to buy property in right now

When considering real estate investment opportunities, people normally think of western cities like London and New York.

Mauritius plans trading platform to hedge African currencies against US dollar

Mauritius plans trading platform to hedge African currencies against US dollar

Mauritius plans to launch a trading platform to hedge African currencies against the U.S. dollar, part of a bid to expand its role as a financial hub for the continent, the financial services minister said.

Andrea Barrica, Venture Partner, 500 Startups

Venture Capital Firm 500 Startups Seeks First Nigeria Tech Deals

500Startups, a Silicon Valley venture-capital firm with more than $175 million under management, is seeking its first investments in Nigerian technology companies as Africa’s most-populous nation encourages industries that will reduce its reliance on oil.

Michael Rogers, Global Deputy Private Equity Leader, EY. Credit: privcap.com

Private Equity - The Outlook for Africa and Emerging Markets - Part I (Report): EY & Wharton

In this two-part interview, [email protected] takes a look at the state of play in private equity in Africa and at prospects for emerging markets more generally, based on a conversation with Michael Rogers, EY’s global deputy private equity leader, and Stephen M. Sammut, senior fellow and lecturer at Wharton.